Law and the public's health

Lawrence O. Gostin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The legal system provides many tools to promote public health along with limitations to protect individual rights. Law is essential to achieve the goals of population health as it can be empowering, providing innovative solutions to the most implacable health problems. Public health law is the study of legal powers and duties of the state to promote the conditions for people to be healthy and the limitations on the power of the state to constrain the autonomy, privacy, liberty or other legal interests. Public health law demonstrates the power of law to encourage the health of populations ranging from vaccinations to tobacco control, clean water to safety standards for consumer products, workplaces and roads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalIssues in science and technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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